Lucinda Childs

United States

Portrait of Lucinda Childs

In 2023, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels is supporting the choreographer Lucinda Childs for her creation Relative Calm and its presentation at La Villette. The initiative is also presenting Dance performed by Lyon Opera Ballet, in collaboration with New York City Center.

Lucinda Childs was inspired by dance and theater since she was a child. Her encounter with Merce Cunningham cemented her path in life. She was part of a collective of artists including Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, and Trisha Brown at the Judson Dance Theater. She launched her choreography career in 1963 with Pastime.

After 1968, she began applying a deconstructionist logic to the classical dance vocabulary. A few years later she launched her own dance company, where she developed a minimalist language of movement. After 1976, she began a series of collaborations with Robert Wilson, including his unforgettable solo in the opera, Einstein on the Beach, with music by Philip Glass. In 1979, Childs created her first large-scale group piece, Dance, with music from the same composer, subsequently presented in multiple reiterations and still today making a part of the Opéra de Lyon Ballet’s repertory.

She collaborated with artists such as Frank Gehry to create Available Light in 1983. The year after, she created Premier Orage (First Storm) for the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, and in 1990 Perfect Stranger for the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon. She has directed several operas, including Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (Orpheus and Eurydice) for the Kiel Opera House in 2016.

Photo : Lucinda Childs © Lucie Jansch